While the future of local railways, which continue to be in the red, is an issue, JR East announced for the first time the income and expenditure status of 66 sections of local routes, which have particularly few users.
All sections are in the red, and JR East wants to proceed with discussions with local governments along the line, including conversion to bus routes.
JR East announced for the first time the status of income and expenditure for each section called "line section" while the number of local railway users is decreasing due to the impact of the new corona in addition to the population decline.
The target was 35 routes and 66 sections with particularly few users, with a "transportation density" of less than 2000 people, which indicates the average number of people carried per day.
The balance of payments for the two years of 2019 and 2020 before the spread of the new corona infection was announced, and both sections were in the red.
The total deficit of 66 sections will amount to approximately 69.3 billion yen in FY2019.
Of these, the largest deficit is in the section between Murakami Station in Niigata Prefecture and Tsuruoka Station in Yamagata Prefecture on the Uetsu Main Line, with a deficit of 4,909 million yen in FY2019.
In addition, in the "operating ratio" that indicates how much it will cost to earn a fare income of 100 yen, the section between Kururi Station and Kazusa-Kameyama Station in Chiba Prefecture on the Kururi Line is the most profitable at 15,546 yen in FY2019. Has gotten worse.
Of the announced sections, the section between Aizu-Wakamatsu Station and Aizu-Bange Station in Fukushima Prefecture on the Tadami Line, which had the smallest "operating ratio" in fiscal 2019, was also 573 yen.
Regarding local railways, on the 25th of this month, a study group of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has put together a proposal that discussions should be carried out, including conversion to bus routes, for sections with a "transportation density" of less than 1000 people.
JR East wants to clarify the situation of the deficit for each section, which will lead to discussions with local governments along the railway lines about the future of local railways.
JR East Takaoka Executive Officer "Need to proceed with discussions with local governments along the line"
At a press conference, JR East's executive officer Takaoka Takaoka said, "We have been working to reduce operating costs, but the difficult business situation continues. To increase the use of local routes, we will revitalize discussions together with the region. I have to go. "
On top of that, "I think that railroads are not the optimal means of transportation in some areas, so it is necessary to proceed with constructive discussions with local governments along the line. A new council will be created at the study group of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. We have put together a proposal that it should be done, so if a council is formed, we would like to utilize it. "